Inexperienced drivers often do not realize how excess speed reduces their ability to control their vehicle. A 16-year-old driver was recently charged with involuntary manslaughter for his role in a three- car collision that killed a 62-year-old woman. A review of the accident information shows that the young driver was speeding far in excess of posted limits and that he ultimately lost control of his vehicle.
The teen-aged driver was traveling westbound on Georgetown Pike at a speed of 85 mph, according to the police accident investigation team. The driver lost control of his vehicle and crossed the center line into the eastbound lane. After entering the eastbound lane, the wrong-way vehicle spun into the path of a Nissan Sentra being driven by a 65-year-old woman. The two vehicles struck each other head-on, and the woman driving the Toyota was severely injured. The wrong-way driver was treated at the scene for his injuries and then arrested. He was incarcerated at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center.
The woman who had been driving the Sentra died from her injuries four days after the accident. The teen ager was charged with involuntary manslaughter. According to police, alcohol was not a factor in the accident.
The defendant in this case faces serious criminal charges. He may also face a civil lawsuit to recover damages for the wrongful death of the 62-year-old woman. The manslaughter charge carries a penalty of 1-10years of imprisonment and a possible fine of not more than $2,500. If the judge finds the defendant’s conduct to be gross, wanton and showing a reckless disregard for the life of others, the maximum sentence may be increased to 20 years.
Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney for an assessment of the evidence, an opinion regarding the outcome of the case, including potential sentences, and, where appropriate, assistance In negotiating an acceptable plea bargain.